Feb. 17, 2020 By Kristen Torres
A Flushing man who killed his former girlfriend last year by shoving her into a suitcase and leaving her to suffocate pleaded guilty to the crime earlier this month, according to federal authorities.
Javier Da Silva pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Feb. 5 to the charge of kidnapping, which led to the death of 24-year-old Valerie Reyes, 24, according to prosecutors. He now faces life in prison.
“Javier Da Silva committed a horrid kidnapping that resulted in the tragic death of Valerie Reyes, a young woman with her entire adult life ahead of her,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Da Silva, 25, drove to Reyes’ New Rochelle, NY home in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019. He switched his phone to “airplane mode” before entering the victim’s home, where he bound her hands and legs with packing tape before stuffing her inside a red suitcase, according to court documents.
Da Silva then drove to Greenwich, Connecticut where he dumped the suitcase on the side of the road.
Greenwich workers discovered the suitcase a few days later, on Feb. 5, 2019, and found Reyes’ fully clothed body inside. The Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that she died of homicidal asphyxiation.
Da Silva was nabbed by police after using Reyes’ ATM cards after her death, withdrawing nearly $5,500 in cash from her bank account.
Reyes and Da Silva had previously dated, and ended their relationship in April 2018.
Da Silva is scheduled to be sentenced May 21.